Jo and Meryl have facilitated groups and workshops for siblings of children with special needs since 1996. They have been listening to children and young adults talk about their experiences. Throughout this process, they have collected data in order to better understand what it means to be a sibling of a brother or sister with special needs.
“The Sibling’s Voice” is a project that involves children, adolescents and young adults talking, writing and thinking about their lives as brothers and sisters of children with special needs. Over the last several years, we have interviewed dozens of siblings, produced a film from their interviews, facilitated sibling groups and presented to parent and professional audiences.
Through our work, we have learned that having a chance to spend time with other siblings who have similar family issues is a very helpful and positive experience.
Jo Chess and Meryl Schaffer
Sample Previous Workshops
They formerly worked for the Mamaroneck Public School District in Westchester County, New York. Meryl is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked extensively with families of children with special needs. Jo is a certified school psychologist whose connection to this work comes from professional and personal experiences. She is the mother of four children, one of whom is severely disabled.